• Jun 28th 2007 at 1:33AM
  • 25
To say we've been looking forward to the Transformers movie would be a bit of an understatement. Of course, nobody knows that better than you, our fair readers, as you've seen over two dozen Transformer posts over the past year. Why not, we all used to wage Autobot vs. Decepticon battles in our back yards, and the cartoon was a Saturday morning staple for years. When we got a call from General Motors that they would be holding the world premiere of one of 2007's biggest blockbusters and we were invited, you could imagine the excitement.

Before the movie premiere, GM Design held a special dinner at Flemmings, which is across the street from the Palladium theater in Birmingham, MI. The free food and drinks were great, and the chance to discuss design with some of GM's best and brightest was very cool. We'll post later on a great conversation we had with Camaro interior designer Micah Jones, but the big event was the Transformers movie world premiere, and you can read our impression of the movie after the jump.

  • Jazz
  • Bumblebee
  • Megatron
  • Starscream
  • Blackout
  • Ironhide
  • Optimus Prime
  • Frenzy

[Editor's Note: Although the following account is a brief preview of the movie, it is in no way a serious spoiler review. If you're curious, read on, but if you want to remain totally in the dark, stop here and wait until next Wednesday when Transformers hits cineplexes nationwide.]

In a summer full of sequels, the Transformers movie is one of the few original productions. It's also the only summer blockbuster that doesn't include a laundry list of A-list actors, unless you're a fan of Hasbro toys or an auto enthusiast. The real scene stealer in this action thriller were the Autobots and Decepticons. Michael Bay and his team of special effects wizards did a terrific job of making the Transformers look, well, real. The in-motion morphing of the main characters were just incredible, as evidenced by the many trailers you've seen on Autoblog, and the bot on bot fight scenes were definitely attention-grabbers.

Going into the movie, I sensed an Independence Day type theme, but other than the superior alien power taking over the world thing, the two movies couldn't be more different. The story line of the Transformers movie mixes a teenage love story with a bunch of 40 foot robots trying to take over the world. The flick was over two hours long, and after about 15 minutes of setup, the rest of the movie was almost non-stop action. Bay does a great job of showing why the Transformers have descended upon our planet, with a flash-back to the end of the battle that destroyed the robot planet. Shia LaBeouf did a terrific job as the main character, combining just enough funny lines with the whole uncomfortable teenager-in-love dynamic. The leading female, Megan Fox, is drop-dead gorgeous, and plays a stellar role of being a strong and smart woman that can do what it takes to get the job done. She definitely wasn't a damsel in distress.

The opening battle scene where one of the Decepticon robots takes on a military base was epic, with a series of incredible explosions and lots of metal flying everywhere. That scene set up the incredible special effects that would be demonstrated throughout. One nice nuance of the movie was that good old-fashioned American soldiers were able to destroy the robots, but it was quite a task. The military and the Autobots really worked together throughout the battle scenes. One of the few disappointments of the movie was that the rumored battle of Camaro vs. Mustang never happened, but Bumble Bee did take on one bad-ass Charger police car in a couple other scenes. (I was wrong, it was the Saleen Mustang. My bad)

In short, the explosions looked almost nuclear, the effects were as good as I've ever seen, the robot-human interaction was very life-like, and no matter how much I had to use the restroom, the non-stop pace of the Transformers movie kept me in my seat. A lot of times when a movie is built up to no end, the viewer can't help but feel disappointed when they leave the theatre, but this was definitely not the case with this billion dollar blockbuster in waiting. GM pulled a major coup with their somewhat over-the-top product placement, and the Camaro is a flat-out star. It's even more stunning on the big screen than it was on the auto show circuit.

If you're a Transformer fan, don't wait for this movie to come out on DVD. No matter how big your TV is at home, you'll need the 50+ foot big screen to catch all the wonderful details of this movie. I'm going to see it one more time before deciding just how great it was, but it easily beats Pirates or Spiderman 3 as the best action movie of 2007.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I vowed that I'd watch it three times in a row on the big screen. :) Thanks for the precursor! >drooool!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I saw the movie last night at a GM sponsored Screening in NYC. It was one of the most amazing movies of all time. I'm glad Michael Bay stayed true to the original, while Spielberg didn't cheese it beyond proportion. I've also read that it got higher screening scores than Armageddon (another Michael Bay flick, scoring 92).

      Personally, I give it a 99. Can't get better than that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hmm. I guess I'll see it. But I still remain dissapointed that it fails to remain true to the source material (and that Michael Bay is directing).

      I.E.: Jazz is not a Martini Porsche Racecar but a Solstice in the film, quite the downgrade IMO.

      I understand GM pretty much bankrolled the cars for the movie, but when you consider the original Bumblebee was a Beetle and Jazz was a Porsche its kinda messed up that Jazz is now the slower car. If you MUST use GM products at least make Jazz a Corvette. I sincerely doubt if a Corvette was in the movie it would have stolen any of the Camaro's thunder. Also, a Corvette, I believe, is closer to the agility of a Porsche than a Solstice would be.
      • 8 Years Ago
      In your gallery, you've got an HHR panel. What's the significance, or relation to the Transformers movie?

      (I ask because I own one myself) ;)


      • 8 Years Ago
      Yea that movie was awesome. Nonstop action from beginning to end, and all the great vehicles in their spectacular form almost made me giddy. Being an aerospace engineer in training, this was a much needed break from the everyday grind with numbers, and having to deal with physics. Anyways, highly recommend the movie to anyone who loves cars, aircraft, and tanks especially when they get to blow things up. Oh, yea; in Korea the movie came out on 6-28-07.
      • 8 Years Ago
      One thing i don't get is why Transformers is coming out in the States nearly a week after it comes out in Asia. It is an American-made movie after all...
        • 8 Years Ago
        yeah but spiderman 3, again an american film PREMIRED in Tokyo, but hey, what you gonna do?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just wanted to point out, it comes out Monday, not Wednesday as you mentioned...yea, the date has been changed for the 3rd time actually, went from 7.4.7 to 7.3.7 to now 7.2.7 (according to the official site also, but for a good laugh, mouse over the alt image tag for the 7.2.7 pic ;))
      • 8 Years Ago
      I for one, am boycotting this film. I was a huge transformers fan, and heck, I still even have most of them stored away, but I will NOT be paying anything to see this movie. Why? GM ruined it. Now, I can understand 'product placement', but there's a point where the product placement is SO bad that it detracts from the movie's sense of realism. Anybody see the chase scene in the matrix, where EVERY SINGLE FREAKING CAR was a GM product? It was horrible. And this movie is going to be exactly the same, with the only exceptions being one lone mustang, and a few other marques only being used in the very distant background, and only if they're beat up, crappy, and rusted. This is GM's way of saying that all other manufacturer's suck, and that ONLY gm makes shiny new vehicles, and BMW, nissan, honda, and everybody else only makes products from the 1980s. That just pisses me off. Instead of making this a movie about actual transformers, the company behind it just took a huge check from GM, and sold themselves out. They didn't even make a movie remotely like the originals, instead, they made a 2 hour long COMMERCIAL FOR GM, with a transformers theme. Well screw them. They bastardized a piece of my childhood and turned it into a commercial for a car company that makes shitty cars. They won't see a freakin dime from me.
        • 8 Years Ago
        so would you boycott the transporter (1 or 2) for using the bmw 7 or audi a8?

        GM offered their cars up for use, build a bridge and get over it. i'm sure you see plenty of different makes in real life, so why complain this much about 2-2.5 hours of "OMG BAD GM PRODUCT PLACEMENT!!!!!!!!!!" (and yes that many exclamation points is intentional)
      • 8 Years Ago
      The whole Transformer movie is light hearted flavor, but when it is a fight scene, they really give a nice blow-by-blow Transformer fights. Though, there are some funny moments with Shia in the movie and I love it like that.

      That's it! I want to watch it over and over again.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well D-Bag, I am an industrial designer, not a 'badass ethug', as you put it. I love cars of all marques, but the problem is GM goes OVERBOARD in product placement. And if you think GM paid nothing to have their vehicles as almost every single transformer, you are dead wrong. They OBVIOUSLY paid a ton for it. And no, I don't have a problem with the transporter, because that was ONE car. It wasn't like the transporter movies were depictions of "BMW-land" where every SINGLE fucking car on the road is a BMW. Also, if you'll remember he drives a mercedes at the end of the first one, to replace the BMW. What I have a problem with is BLATENT product placement, where almost EVERY SINGLE VEHICLE is GM, and the only NON-GM vehicles are portrayed as rusted old POSs from the 1980s.
        • 8 Years Ago

        Right on! How dare GM commercialize a movie about a cartoon that was basically one long commercial for toys!
        • 8 Years Ago
        You are kind of right in the sense that it's a lot of GM, but there are Government GMC [does the C stand for anything?] vehicles that get blown up and crushed so it's not all one way.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Very cool -- looks like a "must see" movie for a car fan.

      GM must have spent BIG buck$ on the product placement; makes me want to go right down to my nearest Chevy dealer and buy the new Camaro. Oh wait, it won't be on sale for another... 2 years? Brilliant, GM.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "There was definately a Charger-based bot in the film.. no Mustang."

      Huh?!? Did you just type that? So all the toys got it wrong by making the Mustang transformers and the filmakers lied by releasing lots of pics of the Mustang cop car and absolutely no pics or mentioning of a Charger?

      ...or did you actually not see the movie and just made up the article you wrote?
        • 8 Years Ago
        Gimme a cookie.
        • 8 Years Ago
        You are so right and I'm a scrub. It was the Saleen Mustang. My wife just called to tell me I was crazy and then sent me a link to the images. My bad. With the police outfit and the front ram bar, my mind was playing tricks on me. The worst part was, I was in the theater thinking... those charger headlights and tail lights look wrong. Idiot.
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